That’s that. The Houston Astros will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. Depending on who makes the roster for each team, there should be at least one and as many as three former Rockies players in this year’s fall classic. Here’s who they are and how they got to where they are now.
Relief pitcher Will Harris should be a lock to make the roster, as he’s been a solid reliever for the Astros all season. The Rockies drafted Harris in the ninth round of the 2006 draft. He played for the Rockies in just one season, 2012, and it wasn’t great. Harris allowed 18 runs in 172⁄3 innings, a lot of it as a mop-up guy. In April 2013, the A’s selected Harris off waivers, and shortly after that the Diamondbacks selected him off waivers from the A’s. He pitched two seasons for Arizona before making his way to Houston, again through the waivers process. Harris has thrived there—even making the All-Star team in 2016.
The other two players may or may not make the roster. The Astros also have Colin McHugh, who the Rockies acquired in 2013 in exchange for Eric Young Jr. McHugh was as bad as Harris in as short of a time, except he did most of it as a starter. He allowed 21 runs in 19 innings. The Astros selected him off waivers after the 2013 season, and he immediately turned things around. His 2.73 ERA and 141 ERA+ in 2014 came out of nowhere. McHugh came back down to earth in the following seasons, as he’s been solid but not spectacular.
Culberson caught the final out that clinched the Dodgers’ trip to the World Series, but he was only on the roster because star shortstop Corey Seager was dealing with a back injury. Culberson’s shot at making the World Series roster likely depends on Seager’s health. Of the three former Rockies who may show up in this year’s World Series, Culberson has the longest history with the Rockies. Culberson was Drafted 51st overall by the San Francisco Giants in the 2007 draft.
In the middle of the 2012 season, the Giants wanted a more experienced middle-infielder to help them with their World Series run. So, they traded Culberson and cash to the Rockies for Marco Scutaro. Culberson spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons as the canvas on which to project disappointment with the Rockies overall. That tends to happen a lot to punchless utility infielders. The Rockies released Culberson after the 2015 season, and the Dodgers picked him up to play that utility role. They’ve been good enough for Culberson to avoid fan derision. And now, it’s possible that he’ll get some World Series playing time.
Whether or not any of the three make the roster and see game action, one team has to win. And just having played on the World Series champion will get at least one of these former Rockies players a ring.